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Vessel in the form of a human forearm and fist

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1982A195
Collection:Antiquities - South American


This vessel has been modelled in the form of a human forearm with its hand clenched into a half fist; the finger nails are clearly visible. It has been suggested that the half fist is related to an aspect of shamanism connected to the Moche mountain deity. The Moche people lived in the northern coastal valleys of Peru where they built ceremonial centres with stepped mud-brick pyramids. They constructed complex irrigation systems to increase the amount of land they could cultivate for food.

Transferred by the Trustees of the Wellcome Trust in accordance with an order of Mr Justice Foster, dated 21 March 1977.

Further Information

Production Period:Moche
Place of Origin:Ankau, Peru
Place of Excavation:Graves
Ankau, North Coast, Peru


Height:130 mm
Width:80 mm
Depth:313 mm